Sealed Kingdoms Region
The Sealed Kingdoms is the local name for a pocket of hydrogen-rich space found within the 'head' of the Soul Nebula. The Sealed Kingdom Region spans around 100 light years and contains the spheres of influence of several spacefaring sentient species, including a long-separated population of humans and their descendants.
Fauna & Flora
While it is rare for multicellular organisms to live full-time in the vacuum of space, the Sealed Kingdoms region plays host to a few such species. The most notable independently space-faring organism in the region is the invasive asteroid mantis, which makes its living sapping asteroids of minerals and drinking in the sun before spreading their dormant spores on the stellar winds. Efforts are ongoing to purge this species wherever it appears, as the mindless lichens are nonetheless highly dangerous to any other living creatures that intrude upon their domain, but space is too big and the species too widespread for it to go extinct anytime soon.
The rich nebular flows of the Sealed Kingdoms region make it ideal for the use of interstellar ramjet drives. The region is part of an emission nebula that glows a dull red because of the presence of hydrogen gas. As fusion is the most common form of artificial power generation in the Sealed Kingdoms, it can be said that the region itself is practially made of fuel. This plethora of fuel also means that the region is the birthplace of many new stars, some of which go on to become liveable star systems ripe for colonization.
The arcopel was one of the oldest and most advanced species of the Sealed Kingdoms region. While their interstellar empire spread, they became increasingly interested in examining, uplifiting, and experimenting upon the various 'lesser' species they came across, creating various new strains of these species through a combination of genetic engineering, selective breeding, and allopatric speciation. Wide-ranging arcopel research vessels scoured the wider galaxy in search of new and interesting species to bring back for study and experimentation. The humans were among the most successful of these imports, having been captured from a planet over 6,000 light years away from the arcopel home world and since spread to numerous worlds for further study. This state of affairs was not to last, however, and as they became more confident in their power and decadent in their excesses, the arcopel also became more sparsely populated. The downfall of this precursor species came with the Mind Cataclysm; an attempted mass cybernetic subversion event orchestrated by a powerful cabal of arcopel scientists instead led to the death or madness of nearly every member of the species. The robotic servitors of the arcopel, the skyphoforms, lived on to preserve the legacy of the arcopel, stalking the old installations they were forged in or wandering the region in search of a personal fulfilment that might never come. The various species who had once been raised by - or trod under - the callous hands of roving arcopel then had their chance to grow and become interstellar powers in their own right. The chitiquish, vbyifabid, human, emoxi, ashquilish, gant, TKT and more - along with numerous subspecies formed by arcopel intervention - carved out their own niches in the region, growing into the great geopolitical powers that they are in the present day.